Joseph Redwood-Martinez is yet another advocate and participant in the movement of urban agriculture. Joseph’s take on it however, is a different one than I have seen before. According to his take on the current state of the US economy, the slump in the real estate market has left cities, especially California, full of open and empty spaces. “We know that real estate will come around. We know that the people that want to build 12 billion dollar apartments will. In the meantime lets go for some new creative legislation. Lets create a new kind of rental agreement, not a lease, but a license. Lets call it an interim use license.” His suggestion is an interesting approach to land that is currently inactive. The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association did just this with Hayes Valley Farm. This project is based on an Interim License with the city, transforming this empty space into a growing community center until it can be used for something else. Free land, volunteer work, and recycled materials keep this project at extremely minimal costs, while getting members of the community together and teach people of the possibilities within their cityscape. “When economy recovers, not if but when, and when development starts, we move. Peacefully. We are not tied to the space, the thing we are tied to is San Francisco. The thing were tied to is a healthier ecosystem in our city and using this as a demonstration of what is possible in the temporary so all of those vacant realities can be transformed.”
I think it is hard to ignore the powerful message behind bringing community together and making living spaces more visually pleasing. Projects like these are meant to provide people with opportunity and hope, while converting wasted space into a sustainable and productive area. By producing a video with a very intimate one on one dialogue we are allured by Joseph’s message. Images of what he has been able to produce through a community outreach program, getting as many people involved as possible, we as viewers have no choice but to applaud his valiant effort.
Assignment of the Day:
Is short term growth a valuable use of temporally limited space? Is it more valuable to educate people for the short term or grow for the long term?